Posts Tagged ‘ Norman Brown ’

Norman Brown – Let It Go

Premium guitarist Norman Brown took his time since his previous solo album Sending My Love (2010). That was probably caused by his collaborations with Gerald Albright (24/7) and the group BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown) releasing Human Nature (2013) and BWB (2016).

Let It Go (2017) is Norman’s debut at Shanachie Entertainment. What makes an instrumental guitar album to something very special? The arrangement? The performance? The talent? Musical enthusiasm? Certainly a bit of everything. But also important is the overall concept of the album.

Norman developed a coherent approach, a spiritual plan for the ultimate acoustic moment. The intro Lessons of the Spirit shows this intellectual style in musical implementation. Like George Benson is Norman one of the blessed guitarists always on the quest after the ideal melody. It Keeps Coming Back is the prove that he is often very close to the target.

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Norman Brown – Let It Go

One can feel his vibrant energy, when Norman Brown fiercely performs onstage. Assembling a huge fan community he is one of the shining stars of this genre. All started with his debut Just Between Us (1992), followed by the albums After The Storm (1994),  Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (2000),  Just Chillin’ (2002), West Coast Coolin’ (2004),  Stay With Me (2007) and Sending My Love, (2010).

Let It Go, Norman’s inspired debut album for Shanachie Records, has something for everyone, whether an R&B fan or a jazz aficionado. From “Holding You,” his sensuous collaboration with R&B great Chanté Moore and Norman’s re-imagining of the Five Stairsteps classic “Ooh Child” to the smoothly grooving “Remember Who You Are” and the serenely inspired “Let It Go,” Let It Go is Norman Brown at his best.

You can pre-order this album at Amazon.com.

BWB – BWB

BWBBWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort Human Nature (2013) they reunited on Heads Up Music to do a Michael Jackson songbook. Their third strike is aptly entitled BWB and released in 2016 on Mack Avenue Records.

The formation is joined on selected tracks by Hamilton Hardin and Herman Jackson (keyboards), Braylon Lacey and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. (bass), Third Richardson and Gordon Campbell (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Demille Cole-Heard (vocals) and Ralph Lofton (Hammond B3). The new album is the result of exercises in Braun’s suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week.

The recorded songs are without any exception own creations, masterly produced by Rick Braun. Triple Dare starts the album with an horn arrangement inspired by The Crusader’s Streetlife. Bust A Move brings the funky vibe into the session. Instead of covers like on the trio’s debut album, they showcase their personal prowess on this party burner.

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BWB – BWB

BWBYou can almost smell the tangy barbecue sauce dripping from the forthcoming third album “BWB” by chart-topping trio BWB, who throw down like a sweaty garage band at a Memphis backyard house party on their debut for the Artistry Music label arriving April 22. It’s the first time the band made up of GRAMMY® winners Norman Brown (guitar, vocals) and Kirk Whalum (saxophone, flute, vocals) and Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, vocals) cooked up a festive, sticky-fingered feast of ten new contemporary jazz, R&B, soul and funk joints. Braun produced the session in his suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week. The result is a collaborative disc celebrating brotherhood and live music. The tantalizing title track is the first radio cut, which enters Billboard’s Top 10 on next week’s singles chart and appears to be ticketed for the top spot.

Anytime the three solo stars get together to record, it’s an instant candidate for event album of the year in the contemporary jazz world. BWB has been itching to record original material ever since they first recorded as a high-wattage trio in 2002 when they released a collection of covers entitled “Groovin’.” Over a decade later, they reunited as a combo in 2013 with “Human Nature,” paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s songbook and scoring their first No 1 hit with “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground).” This time around, they decided to compose the material entirely on their own, creating party jams specifically with their spirited live shows in mind.

As Braun tells it, “A long time ago in a faraway galaxy, three brothers dreamed of recording a CD of all original material as a band. Although the evil forces of time and geography stood in their way for many years, a dream is a powerful idea and ultimately the collective, creative force will prevail. And in that spirit, Norman and Kirk moved into my house for a short week with their loved ones. We played our horns, sang, drank wine, wrote, laughed and lived together. Thus it began!” Continue reading

BWB – Human Nature

Michael Jackson throws after his death still a powerful shadow. After Bob Baldwin’s tribute album Never Can Say Goodbye three further giants of smooth jazz present their very own homage Human Nature (2013). BWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort they reunited to do a Michael Jackson songbook.

The formation is joined by John Stoddart (keyboards), Braylon Lacey (bass), Khari Parker (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion) and Ralph Lofton (organ). To do an album of just covers carries some risk, especially when the original is so often played. On the other hand good jazz musicians have to overcome such obstacles.

That said the trio improvise on Another Part Of Me presenting their special skills and perfect written arrangement, thus transforming a well-known tune to a jazzy element. With Billie Jean they showcase brilliantly created harmonies. The concept is illustrated anew with the song Human Nature. A simple designed melody develops to a well thought out piece.

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Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7

Two heavy hitters in contemporary jazz come together in celebration of music lovers’ all-day, all-night passion. Saxophonist Gerald Albright and guitarist Norman Brown present 24/7 (Concord, 2012).

Albright, a Grammy nominee, is a native of Los Angeles. His career is marked by associations with Patrice Rushen, Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, Maurice White and many others. New Beginnings (Peak, 2008) and Sax for Stax (Peak, 2009) both received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Brown was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. His 2002 release, Just Chillin’, received the Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Wes Montgomery, Brown has often been compared to George Benson, both in his style of playing guitar and his vocal scat. During the waning years of Warner Bros. Jazz, Brown also collaborated on several projects with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun. The trio, backed by several other musicians, was known as BWB.

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Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7

Saxophonist Gerald Albright is best known for his popular and signature sax sound. His stage presence is brilliant. He wins the audience in seconds. His newest repertoire consists of Groovology (2002) and Kickin’ It Up (2004) on GRP, followed by New Beginnings (2008) and Sax for Stax (2009) on Peak Records, both GRAMMY® nominated in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album. His latest solo album is Pushing The Envelope released in June 15, 2010 on Heads Up International.

At eye level reveals guitarist Norman Brown. One can feel his vibrant energy, when Norman Brown fiercely performs onstage. Assembling a huge fan community he is one of the shining stars of this genre. All started with his debut Just Between Us (1992), followed by the albums After The Storm (1994), Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (2000), Just Chillin’ (2002), West Coast Coolin’ (2004), Stay With Me (2007) and Sending My Love, released June 22nd, 2010.

Although both artists know each other since the ’80’s, this project is the first one, they work together. Because of the small time window was the disk recording really short. Brown comments: “When we were recording the project, we didn’t have a lot of time – so we were working on it 24/7!”

While Brown performs on lead and rhythm guitars, Albright expands on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flutes, bass guitar, electric wind instrument, percussion, programming and background vocals. They are joined by keyboardist Tracy Carter, rhythm guitarist Rick Watford and drummer Jay Williams; and keyboardist Herman Jackson, bassist Byron Miller, drummer Charles Streeter and percussionist Ramon Yslas.

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